GBFD – A beautiful garden is dependent on the foliage

This month I didn’t go out into the garden to look for foliage to photograph for this post but instead decided that I would look through the images I have taken so far this month and think about how the foliage relates to the whole garden experience.

This image taken on the first of May sums up my thoughts on foliage; even though the garden seemed full of flowers at the time (May 1st) in this particular view there are only a couple of tail end tulips still blooming and yet to me it looks lovely.  The texture and form and the varying shades of green MAKE the garden.

Looking accross the small island to the circular rose bed

Looking accross the small island to the circular rose bed

Looking across the large island there are flowers but without the foliage it would be a pretty poor show (May 5th)

Under the mulberry the blue colour and texture of Festuca glauca contrasts with the deep plum colour Huechera. (May 5th)

Under the Mulberry

Under the Mulberry

Some plants have foliage almost more lovely than their flowers.

Crimson edged leaf of Allium  Karataviense

Crimson edged leaf of Allium Karataviense

Cotinus

Cotinus

Sedum with feathery silvery folage of an artemisia

Sedum with feathery silvery folage of an artemisia

One red poppy in the formal beds of Perovskia

One red poppy in the formal beds of Perovskia

Large island in the foreground

Large island in the foreground

Looking across the large island there are flowers but without the foliage it would be a pretty poor show (May 5th)

Again this month I wanted to show you that by changing your images to tones of grey (thank goodness for digital photography) you can see very clearly how textures and forms work together to make a pleasing tapestry that will form the background to the flowers you want to display to their best advantage.

Cistus and Artemisia with Allium Christophii

Cistus,  Artemisia and Eleagnus with Allium Christophii

Same image in colour

Same image in colour

A narrow path leading you further into the garden

A narrow path leading you further into the garden

The grey image emphasises how wriggly the path edge is, I must adjust this, as it is unnecessarily fussy

The same image in colour

The same image in colour

What job is foliage doing in your garden?  Do you have a plant that you chose because it had lovely foliage rather than for the colour of its flowers?  If you are in the Southern Hemisphere it is autumn now, do you have some colourful autumn foliage to share with us?

To join in GBFD, simply post about foliage and leave a comment here with the link.

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29 thoughts on “GBFD – A beautiful garden is dependent on the foliage

    • Thanks for joining again this month Donna. Weeds are always an issue, but soon the other plants will cover the ground for you and this will hide any weeds that remain. Christina

  1. The views of your small island and large island really do have a great mix of foliage – not just greens, but browns and bronze from the cotinus too.The poppy foliage in my garden is lovely at the moment, but does tend to swamp other plants a little!

  2. It is so pretty! There is something so special about Autumn. I always look forward to the leaves changing on the trees. It is spring here right now, it has been unseasonably COLD and RAINY! oh do Rainy! However, it has warmed up since the weekend and our yards are going crazy! ~maria

  3. Great tip about using black and white images to judge foliage combinations, Christina. I’ll certainly be giving that a try in spring.

  4. Thanks for hosting as always, Christina. It was interesting how you decided to change the focus of the post to show how the foliage linked it all together – I shall take a special ramble round my garden to see where I could add more foliage to pull certain areas together. How many heuchera do you have in the clump round your mulberry? My post is now up at http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/gbfd-feeling-frustrated-following-foliage-fotography/

    • Thanks for joining in GBFD this month Cathy. I do believe that foliage is always important not just as special plants that don’t flower but how the foliage of one plant can support the beauty of the flowers of something else. Christina

  5. My cotinus still has tightly furled buds but I am really looking forward to seeing the leaves, one of my favourite shrubs. I agree with Alberto, that first image says it all, the euphorbias add wonderful structure, I am looking forward to a plant delivery tomorrow that includes several that I hope will make a B&W photo of my front garden more architecturally interesting. Sorry not to have joined in this month, life has intervened leaving no time for blogging.

    • Don’t worry about not joining in this month; it is always nice to hear from you. I hope you are having an opportunity of enjoying your garden. Christina

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